football player ball

12 Shortest Football Players In The World

Football isn't just a game of strength, speed, and agility; it's a sport where heart and skill can outshine physical stature. No one's denying that being tall can give players an advantage in certain positions. But many players have proven that greatness doesn't necessarily come in towering packages.

Icons like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi are prime examples of players who've shattered such stereotypes. They've shown the world that skill, agility, and football intelligence can outweigh physical stature. These players, despite not being tall, have made a massive impact on the history of the game. Their abilities prove that greatness isn't measured in inches.

In this piece, we're zooming in on the shortest footballers of 2024. Stick around as OhMyFootball showcase the shortest giants of world football, who remind us that in the beautiful game, brilliance knows no height.

Xherdan Shaqiri - 1.69 m

Xherdan Shaqiri stands out in the football world not for his height but for what he achieved in his career. The 5'5 tall player has clinched two Champions League titles with Bayern Munich and Liverpool. 

The Swiss winger is known for his solid build and amazing abilities with the ball on his feet. Shaqiri has shown the world that his height has never held him down. His remarkable strength, exceptional left foot, and powerful long-range shots have made him a formidable force on the field. 

xherdan shaqiri argentina vs Switzerland

Alexis Sanchez - 1.68 m

Standing at 1.68 meters, Alexis Sanchez might not be the tallest on the pitch, but make no mistake, this Chilean forward is anything but easy to push around. 

Sanchez was a driving force for both Barcelona and Arsenal, becoming one of the most productive strikers of his era.

His fierce playing style, combined with his knack for finding the back of the net, has left an indelible mark on the sport. Despite struggling to find his place in the last couple of years. Sanchez's legacy as a powerhouse in the football world is undisputed.

alexis sanchez wearing inter shirt

Joe Allen – 1.68 metres

The Welsh midfielder, standing at 1.68 meters, proves that size isn't everything in football. His more compact size has granted him excellent ball control and stability, even when up against larger opponents. This agility and poise come in handy, especially given his tenure with Stoke City, a team known for its physical style of play.

Alan's journey has taken him from Liverpool to becoming a key player for the Wales national team. Joe Alan is currently playing for Swansea City in the EFL Championship, continuing to show that heart and skill can triumph over physical dimensions in football.

Mathieu Valbuena - 1.67 m

The former French international doesn't let his height of 1.67 meters define his presence on the field. Valbuena is a prime example of how skill can overshadow size in football. 

His exceptional dribbling skills and creative flair in attack have made him a valuable asset to his teams. Despite not being the tallest player out there, Valbuena's ability to manoeuvre through defences and set up plays demonstrates that talent and technique are crucial components of a footballer's arsenal.

marco verrati running with a ball in his feet

Marco Verrati – 1.65 m

Marco Verrati, standing at 1.65 meters, is a powerhouse in the midfield. The Italy international has played a vital role in the nation's triumph in Euro 2020.

Verrati is one of the best midfielders in the history of football. His ability to control the game, combined with his vision and precision, has made him one of the best in the game.

Lorenzo Insigne – 1.63 m

Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli's former striker, is on the short side of the game, at just 1.63 meters or about 5 feet 4 inches. But as we already said, size isn't everything in football.

On the field, Insigne is a giant. His talent for slicing through defences with sharp, straight-to-the-point dribbling is what made him one of the best strikers of his generation.

At 33, the Italian is showing no signs of slowing down, currently tearing it up with Toronto FC over in the MLS.

Maximiliano Moralez – 1.59 m

Maximiliano Moralez is an attacking midfielder tearing it up with New York City in the MLS. He's had the honour of wearing the Argentina jersey, too, even if it was just once.

Standing at a compact 1.60 meters, Moralez had quite the journey. From showing off his skills in Italy with Atalanta to then making a splash in the MLS with New York City FC. 

Maximiliano's got this cool nickname, "frasquito," which translates to "little flask" in English. It's a quirky nod to his stature and perhaps his ability to pack a punch on the field, just like a little flask full of something powerful!

Madson Formagini Caridade – 1.57 m

Madson, the seasoned Brazilian footballer, might not tower over many at 1.57 meters (or 5'2"), but he sure stands tall in terms of skill. Kicked off his journey at Vasco de Gama, and since then, he's hopped around, including a stint with Santos back home in Brazil.

Now 35, he's still got it, playing as an attacking midfielder who knows his way around a set piece like a pro.

Saliu Popoola – 1.57 m

Saliu Popoola is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Moroccan club Wydad Fès. Popoola ranks among the shortest African footballers. His notable achievement includes securing a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics. In 2015, he was recognized as the third shortest footballer in the world.

Daniel Villalva – 1.55 m

Daniel Villalva is a talented Argentine attacking midfielder, currently playing for Atlético La Paz. Villalva stands out for his exquisite passing accuracy and adept dribbling skills. Over the years, he has consistently challenged defenders with his prowess on the field, despite standing at just 1.55 metres tall.

Elton Jose Xavier Gomes – 1.54 m

The Brazilian attacking midfielder, standing at just 1.54 metres, is among the shortest players in the world. Known for his quick pace and remarkable dribbling abilities, Elton has made a significant impact playing for Saudi Arabian clubs including Al-Nassr, Al-Hamriyah, and Al-Fateh.

Marcin Garuch – 1.54 m

Garuch, a relatively unknown Polish footballer, stands out as one of the shortest players actively competing in world football today. Remarkably, he's also considered the shortest professional soccer player in Europe. Despite his height of just 1.54 metres (5 feet 0.63 inches), this player from the Polish second division possesses impressive technical skills and exceptional ball control, showcasing that talent and skill in football truly know no height.

Related News